‘URBAN forests’ in new housing estates could be introduced to the borough as a council chief follows the lead of a pioneering authority to go green.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) deputy leader and cabinet member for planning Councillor Nick Adams-King is calling for the borough to replicate the policy of Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire, to require developers to provide tree cover to more than 25 per cent of any new developments.

Cllr Adams-King will be driving for a similar policy to be included in the borough’s next Local Plan, which he is recommending consultation to begin at cabinet’s next meeting on June 20.

He said: “Research involving multiple indices of social deprivation showed the 25 per cent level is the ‘tipping point’ between being classed as a poor rather than a leafier prosperous neighbourhood.”

“Introducing a similar policy in Test Valley’s next Borough Local Plan could be a positive enhancement to our own local development.

“This ‘Issues and Options’ consultation [for the Local Plan] will be asking everyone who lives and works in Test Valley to think about how we want our area to develop over the next 15 -20 years.

“I am determined to ensure the process is as open and transparent as possible and encourage people to be innovative in their comments and aspirations.

“Test Valley has already worked to ensure green space is provided in and around new estates. Following Wycombe Council’s requirement is a great example of an idea we may wish to consider.”

“We should be ambitious for Test Valley.”